FIFA Football for Schools Programme starts in Northern Territory

FIFA Football for Schools

The FIFA Football for Schools Programme has commenced in the Northern Territory, hosting a suite of initiatives that will see over $70,000 of funding injected into schools in the region.

FIFA Football for Schools is a key programme run by FIFA, delivering football activities that teach life skills and education at the same time. In collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), they contribute to the empowerment of around 700 million children, by making football more accessible to both boys and girls.

FIFA Football for Schools in the Northern Territory was made possible by FIFA, Football Australia, Football Northern Territory, and the Northern Territory government.

The Northern Territory is the first Australian state to secure FIFA Football for Schools funding and becomes part of Football Australia’s strategy to engage more school students in football by aligning to its core objectives and outcomes – the main objective being to encourage students to engage in physical literacy and learning about life principles and skills through sport.

Football Australia CEO, James Johnson on the impact of FIFA Football for Schools via press release:

“We’re so grateful to be the recipient of FIFA Football for Schools funding, it’s a program that has been rolled out globally and we’re excited about the impact it can have for young people across the Northern Territory,” he said.

“We identified an opportunity to build on our existing engagement with First Nations people within the region through Football Northern Territory and this FIFA Football for Schools funding will help enhance this work further.

“More than 45 percent of students identify as First Nations in the Northern Territory, with a vast majority of schools in remote or very remote areas. We want to ensure we’re connecting with these students and providing them with opportunities to engage with football, enjoying the many benefits our game can bring including improved health and wellbeing, creating lifelong friendships and uniting community.”

Funding from FIFA Football for Schools will go towards school curriculums, regional roadshows for remote communities, involvement in after school and holiday programs and the delivery of major events.

“We’ve worked very closely with the Football Northern Territory and the Department of Education to put together what we feel is a thorough program of activities that aligns with our collective objectives, and I look forward to seeing it brought to life in the coming weeks and months,” Johnson added.

Football Northern Territory has already rolled out The FIFA Football for Schools program, starting Wednesday July 19.

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Global Institute of Sport and former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor launch ‘study and play’ academy in Dubai

Global Institute of Sport (GIS) has announced an expansion into the Middle East by partnering with leading football performance specialists The Player, co-founded by former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor.

Aspiring footballers from across the globe can now study a GIS university degree and immerse themselves in an elite football environment with the stunning surroundings of Dubai.

The new ‘Study & Play: Dubai’ initiative provides footballers of all levels with an unprecedented opportunity to train and play in state-of-the-art facilities under the guidance of UEFA A licenced coaches. Alongside their football, students studying a specialist GIS online sports degree will receive local academic support, as well as be part of a global cohort of GIS students studying the same degree course.

Open to students from across the world to move to Dubai, successful applicants will be able to immerse themselves in the Middle East’s emerging football market, gain cutting-edge skills and apply for sports work placements that will shape their future both on and off the field.

The Player Co-Founder and former Newcastle United player Steven Taylor commented:

“This partnership with GIS offers a fantastic opportunity for young athletes. Education is one of our four main focuses at The Player, and we’re able to offer high level performance training alongside this education.”

Fellow The Player Co-Founder and UEFA A licenced coach Sam White added:

“We’re really proud to be introducing this partnership with Global Institute of Sport, and being able to offer young professionals and talented young athletes the opportunity to study a degree and play or work within the world of football in Dubai at the same time.”

GIS President and CEO Sharona Friedman stated:

“GIS was founded with the intention of bringing the best learning and education from the world of sport together so that students are able to graduate with a holistic understanding of best practice from around the globe.

“We are delighted to partner with The Player to provide an additional immersive opportunity for students to study and train in an elite football environment, whilst also bringing our education model to a new region, which will be at the forefront of sports business and performance for the decades to come.”

The GIS degrees available to study as part of this opportunity are:

All programmes are delivered entirely online with the exception of MSc Football Coaching & Analysis, which is largely online plus two residential weeks in either London, Miami or Melbourne.

For more information on Study & Play: Dubai, you can visit the link here: www.GIS.sport/dubai.

FIFA implement measures to protect female players and coaches

FIFA has announced several amendments to the current Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP). These changes have been approved by the FIFA Council by May 2024 and have been brought into effect from June 1.

These changes are majorly focused on women and the impact that menstruation and pregnancy have on their careers.

A meeting of key stakeholders and FIFA members resulted in these new regulations advancing the women’s game.

These include:

  • FIFA female players and coaches can now receive a minimum of 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.
  • A minimum of 8 weeks of paid absence for female coaches and players who adopt a child under the age of 2.
  • Also, a minimum of 8 weeks paid absence from the birth of the child if they are not the biological mother (for example same-sex parenthood).
  • Players are entitled to full remuneration if they are absent from training or games due to menstruation or pregnancy health reasons.
  • There is increased support for female players in contacting families during national team contexts to ease pressure on children and mothers.

FIFA Chief Legal & Compliance Officer Emilio García Silvero has commented on the recent changes:

“FIFA is committed to implementing a dynamic regulatory framework that is sound and suitable for the increasing needs of female players and coaches,” he said via media release.

“In order for the game to further flourish, it’s key that we have a holistic approach towards player well-being, including the legal aspects.”

This is a huge advancement in the game’s equality mission as FIFA has recognised and actively planned to ease the physical, psychological and social dimensions of pregnancy and menstruation for women athletes.

These regulations fit Goal 2 in FIFA’s Strategic Objectives for the Global Game: 2023-2027, which describe the organisation’s commitment to exploring and implementing further safeguards for player and coach welfare.

FIFA Chief Football Women’s Officer Dame Sarai Bareman outlined the importance of placing women’s physical health in the legal and mainstream dialogue of the sport.

“When you’re playing sport for a living, and in a professional environment, we have to factor in that the female menstrual cycle can also impact on your ability to deliver within your role,” she added via media release.

“So, it’s important that we protect … those that are affected by their menstrual cycles in a way that it doesn’t put at risk their employment situation with their club and, ultimately, their ability to earn money.”

This announcement shows the players are becoming the major stakeholders in laws and regulations around their welfare.

This is an important strategy for the equality of the game by making sure that women’s sporting careers are not put on hold or impacted by their natural body function or raising a child.

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